Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Years reset for Your Marketing Program

By Mark Helfen


The start of the year is a good time to re-think your marketing. From Linda Popky’s view, it’s time to start with the marketing basics. At next Monday’s meeting, she will provide a framework to help organize your thinking, prioritize your time and money, and maybe help you find things you can stop doing that use up resources but don’t benefit your program. The presentation is titled Setting the Right Coordinates: 7 Ways to Jumpstart Your Marketing in 2014.

The meeting will start 6:30 Monday, January 13, at the Citrix Startup Accelerator, our usual time and place. Along with our usual snacks.

Popky is the founder and president of Leverage2Market Associates, Inc., a strategic marketing company that helps organizations transform their business through marketing. Her consulting clientele includes companies sized from individual entrepreneurs to large Fortune 100 enterprises.

She was a speaker at an earlier MarketingSIG, focused on your personal career development. At that meeting, she talked about her first book, Marketing Your Career: Positioning, Packaging and Promoting Yourself for Success.

But marketing programs that are successful, efficient, and effective are the core of her consulting practice. Most of her focus is on business-to-business sales. For that, she goes back to the basics, referencing markets from the beginning of civilization. The basics of marketing “haven’t changed in thousands of years. You are a farmer with too much milk, someone else has too many eggs, how do you exchange. The definition of market is a place of exchange.” 

Understanding your customers, the unique benefits of your products, how customers will value it, how to price it, and how it will reach your customers hands all need a clear understanding. The key factors need to be identified, and must be measurable to understand if you have hit the target. Her measurement strategy is focused on “external metrics,” things that “move the needle” in ways that advance your business. Like maybe more sales, or increased profit.

Interestingly, the words “social media” weren’t mentioned until I brought them up.

“Just about everyone needs that, but you don’t start there.” Social media is a tactic, based on your strategy. She sees the intense focus on social something like buying furniture for your new house before construction has started.

At Monday’s meeting, she will help you with a 7 point list to start setting the right goals, asking the right questions, and launching your “trajectory” for the coming year. A hint to her viewpoint is the working title of her next book, Stop Marketing Madness: Achieve Better Results with Less Marketing. Addition by subtraction. Not only what to do, but what you can take out and not do, to move the needle.

So come by Monday, and reset your thinking for the new year. Perhaps not the full map – that’s your job. But maybe the starting and end points.

“Start with the end, and then understand what you need to get there. A different way of approaching marketing.”

 Be sure and sign up at the Marketing and Social Media Meetup site:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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